Kew's Science Projects
Kew scientists are involved in hundreds of scientific projects of varying scales ranging from individual PhD research programmes to large-scale network endeavours involving more than 40 institutional partners, across several continents. These project profiles document all our significant science projects (whether externally or internally funded).
Continuing work with ANCO and its local community based reforestation in the Dom vicinity.
Hyper-speciation events in large genera - using Eugenia and Syzygium as case studies
Dissecting the role of reactive oxygen species in seed dormancy, desiccation tolerance and germination, and applying the knowledge to improving methods of ex situ seed conservation
The Virtual Herbarium is a web-based collection of digital images of preserved plant specimens and associated information, which makes data on taxonomy, geographic distribution and plant biodiversity available to conservationists throughout East Africa.
Building on Kew's African Floras: an electronic information platform for the acquisition, curation, enhancement and dissemination of biodiversity information.
The origin and early evolution of angiosperms
Supporting discovery and conservation of the Ebo Forest in Littoral Region, Cameroon.
Many ecologically important plant groups in Southeast Asia are difficult to identify and baseline taxonomic and conservation information is often lacking. Conservationists and other field workers need easy to use and reliable keys, species descriptions, and conservation assessments to aid in their work and studies.
Unraveling the initial symbiotic events involved with tree establishment on lowland heaths
Using molecular-based phylogenetic trees and conservation status to identify the most Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered plants. The project focuses initially on gymnosperms.
(project completed 2011)
Developing integration between European Taxonomic institutes focussing on the Internet.
With the increase in accessible mobile technology, it is now possible to directly collect field data (survey and collections) into an electronic format. This would streamline data capture, increase efficiency and improve data quality.
Embryo cryopreservation of threatened cycads, recalcitrant palms and low temperature storage of orchids to complement conventional storage.
eMonocot is a project developing a sustainable, integrated, web-based biodiversity information resource on monocots, ca. 20% of the flowering plants. Monocots contain plant taxa of the highest conservation, ecological and economic importance, such as orchids, grasses, sedges and palms and provide 75% of human nutrition.
(project completed 2005)
Establishing a strong European network as a pre-requisite to making biodiversity information accessible
The purpose of this project, starting in 2011/12, is the conservation and sustainable use of wild plant resources for the benefit of local communities in three provinces of Mozambique.
(project completed 2009)
The European Native Seed Conservation Network project brought together 31 institutes from 18 countries. The project ran for five years from 1st November 2004 to 31st October 2009. Kew initiated and coordinated the ENSCONET project as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project.
The ENSCONET Consortium maintains the momentum for native seed conservation in Europe which was generated during the FP6 funded ENSCONET project. It is a network of European native seed banks with an interest in the conservation and seed banking of Europe’s native flora.
(project completed 2004)
Producing a web portal to Kew's biodiversity information resources
An in-depth knowledge of the morphological and molecular traits of these two unusual genera can lead to a greater understanding of grass spikelet evolution.
Legume flowers and inflorescences are investigated in a broad ecological context, with a focus on systematic relationships and on floral function.
The purpose of this project is the ex-situ conservation, propagation and re-introduction of endemic and threatened species, focusing primarily on Chile’s Desert & Mediterranean Ecosystems.
Seed collecting and banking; capacity building and applied research on plant germplasm from arid and semi-arid zones of Mexico
Kew is investigating the Berlinia group of caesalpinioid legumes which can form mutualistic associations with fungi.
Based on the successful Millennium Seed Bank Project seed collecting collaboration between Kew and the Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, which started in 2006, this expanded project has two main components: 1) Collection of 350 Slovak species new to the MSB and 2) Taxonomic and phylogenetic studies on four endemic model species, to improve the knowledge basis for future conservation action.
Novel methods pioneered for initiation, growth and storage of threatened UK bryophytes in aseptic culture and cryopreservation. A collection of species of high conservation concern in cryostorage with trials to reintroduce cryo-preserved material to natural sites.
The UKOTs Ex Situ Conservation Collections are being developed to secure threatened species from the Territories in ex situ cultivation for long-term conservation. These collections are used to develop horticultural protocols, displays, research projects, and native plant alternatives for landscaping.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Natural England are working with contractors and volunteers to provide basic distribution data on selected Section 41 fungi. These are the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (2007 revision) species that were listed in accordance with the NERC Act (2006) and accepted as being the fungi of principal importance for conservation of biodiversity in England.
Making the information in Kew’s major African Floras more easily accessible through a series of field guides.
This handbook for the identification of the Trees of Southern Thailand will prove an invaluable tool for foresters and botanists working in the region.
Kew is working in collaboration with herbaria at Addis Ababa University (ETH) and the University of Copenhagen (C), to carry out and document detailed studies on the woody plants of Ethiopia.
The Flora of Iraq started in 1960 as a project of the National Herbarium, Ministry of Agriculture, Baghdad in collaboration with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.
The Flora of Oman is a descriptive flora of the native plants of the Sultanate of Oman.
The evolutionary origins of flowers and inflorescences.
Documenting the plant diversity of one of the world’s most ecologically rich countries
A major Kew project that started in 1948, dealing with all 12,500 wild plant species from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. An essential baseline tool for anyone working with East African plants!
The project involves the writing and publishing of a regional Flora for south-central Africa covering Botswana, the Caprivi Strip of Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Starting in 1960 it is designed to provide a catalogue of all plant species of the area, a means to identify them using keys, and an indication of distribution.
Tribe Indigofereae (180 spp.) – the final volume of Leguminosae for Flora Zambesiaca.
A volume on Orchidaceae for the international project Flore du Cambodge, Laos, et Viêtnam
Establishing a research facility to select species and develop methods to restore forest in western Cambodia.